What could be better than bright young minds teaching bright younger minds about the world of science and technology?
The fact that a Codemakers camp is coming to Trail for the first time this summer – opening the door for students ages seven through 12 to learn hands on computer programming from university scholars.
“This particular camp will focus on engineering concepts, robotics and introductory programming,” explains Mary Austin from Austin Engineering. “All students who are able to attend are very welcome – kids are not expected to come to the camp with particular skills, only a passion to learn and expand in technology.”
Geering Up of UBC (University of British Columbia) is coming to the Silver City’s college campus for five days beginning July 11, instructing how to apply science to real world applications, such as the building and programming of robotic systems.
“It is an incredible opportunity to access learning opportunities previously only available in Vancouver,” said Austin, a key supporter of the Lower Columbia Tech Club for youth. “And it will build both skills and confidence in technology.”
Austin is getting the word out to local schools now, noting 25 seats are available for each age group, the first grades 2 to 4, the second grades 5 to 8.
“The older children’s group is filling particularly quickly,” she said. “The hope of many of the participants is to demonstrate how much demand there is for this type of supplementary programming so that the camps will be able to expand to older students next summer.”
The timing couldn’t be better for the camp following the province’s recent announcement that Grade 6 to 9 students in B.C. will soon be learning computer coding as a mandatory part of their classes.
The Ministry of Education plans to spend $2 million to train teachers and develop curriculum and set aside another $2 million to buy equipment and resources for students to start learning coding by September 2018.
Locally, the idea for a summer technology camp began with a parent directly contacting the UBC Geering Up program and asking them to come to the area. (Geering Up is run by UBC engineering students)
After that, a partnership between Selkirk College Trail and GLOWS (Growing Learning Opportunities with Science) developed, expanding the camp to reach more age groups.
“GLOWS has recently integrated with Selkirk College to continue to support youth science and technology initiatives,” Austin explained. “They provide the funding and direction for such events as the Science Fairs, Robogames and many other programming opportunities,” she added. “And Susan Chew, manager of the Trail Selkirk College, has been an avid support of Science and Tech programming, and I believe with her support and the GLOWS partnership, they were able to make space in the Trail campus.”
Cost for the full week is $200. Further information, including registration, is available online at selkirk.ca under GLOWS Youth Summer Courses.
For families that may need help covering the enrolment fee, Austin Engineering has teamed up with XL Welding to provide one needs-based scholarship for both the younger and older classes.
To access the sponsorship, parents can contact firstname.lastname@example.org